Building of new homes in the United States fell in April to its lowest level since November, but the rate is still well above the same time a year ago, and new building permits are at their highest level since June 2008.
The U.S. Commerce Department reports new home starts fell 16.5% in April from the month before to an annual rate of 853.000. The decline was due largely to a 37.8% drop in the building of structures with at least five homes. Single-family home construction fell only 2.1%.
The drop was not surprising to analysts after the big jump seen in March.
Compared to April of last year, total home construction starts last month are up 13.1%, while new building permits issued are up 35.8%.
Despite the April downturn from March, homebuilders are feeling optimistic about the future.
A sign of future building activity for residences, new building permits issued, increased 14.3% in April from March to an annual rate of 1.02 million, the highest level since June 2008.
The National Association of Homebuilders monthly index of builder confidence, released Wednesday, shows expectations for future sales hit its highest level this month since February 2007.